24th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic Race Report by Sharon Bart
Thanksgiving morning, 2017, brought an abundance of sunshine, smiling faces, bright blue skies to match the heathered sapphire blue race shirts and a smattering of soaked shoes. With continued record highs experienced in the southwest, and in Tucson on Thanksgiving morning, there were more than usual intentional splashers in the water pit during the 24th Annual Thanksgiving Cross Country Classic. And yes, some racers took advantage of the wheelchair lane instead of navigating over the hay bales and water jumps but we won’t critique their intentions here. We will give a heartfelt thank you to those wheelchair athletes and their running buddies. We are so proud to have Team Hoyt Arizona join us for a second year. I have to say that watching those athletes on the course is so very inspirational!
The women kicked off the 5k race at 8:00 am sharp. Paula Morrison took first place overall, beating last year’s winning time and easily outrunning those who are not in the masters’ category, in a time of 19:01. Tia Accetta handily took first Masters’ place in a smoking time of 19:23. Age group winners were Amber Velez 10 and under, in 24:43, 11-13 Taylor McCue in 21:10, 14-16 Zoey Delgado in 19:52, 17-19 Katherine Bruno in 19:49, 20-24 Kelsey Montano in 23:16, 25-29 Jennifer Tetrault in 19:31, 30-34 Tara Bruce in 20:55, 35-39 Cara Payne in 19:51, 40-44 Anne Swanson in 21:25, 45-49 Billie Meuschke in 23:55, 50-54 Jane Thomas in 23:47, 55-59 Jill Katz in 24:02, 60-64 Mary Black in 26:32, 65-69 Nancy Fuller in 29:15, 70-74 Mary Croft in 34:45 and 75-79 Judie Shyman in 32:39. Those are some great times ladies! Tara Erdmann’s 2011 course record of 17:08.2 remains and the course record pot will be $350 for next year’s event.
The men’s 5K started next at 8:45. Nathan Thomas easily took first place with a speedy time of 15:34. Sergio Osorio won the Masters division in a time of 17:52, thirteen seconds faster than his winning time last year! This is Sergio’s second year of improving his time over the previous year. Pretty impressive in the Masters division! First place age group winners are Kendrick Parrill in the 10 and under group with a time of 21:13, 11-13 Reid Swanson in 17:53, 14-16 Ayden Schilb in 16:55, 17-19 Collin Dylla in 16:47, 20-24 Ryan Bugler in 16:00, 25-29 Gabe McGowan in 16:19, 30-34 Randy Arriola in 16:23, 35-39 Anthony Francisco in 16:21, 40-44 Ramon Billy in 18:14, 45-49 Joseph Delgado in 18:30, 50-54 Tedd Rasonmoff in 19:28, 55-59 Jon Black in 19:53, 60-64 Benito Gonzalez in 20:26, 65-69 Stuart Hancock in 23:02, 70-74 Richard Senti in 25:27, 75-79 Don Branaman in 34:39 and 80 and over Jack Warneke in 35:57. The course record remains at 14:54.1 set in 2009 by Craig Curley and next year’s course record pot will be $450.
The team division was once again quite the competition. With 18 teams in the women’s division and 15 teams in the men’s, results this year are as impressive as always. Teams are comprised of four to seven members, with the fastest four team member’s times totaled for the team time. The winning ladie’s team, Sexy Ladies of Wog 1, was a very fast 1:21:09 and Sexy Ladies of Wog 2 was second place with a time of 1:31:10. Lancer Student Runners was third in 1:30:10, fourth place was Tucson Runner’s Project in 1:41:03. Men’s first place team, Running Shop, ran a fast 1:06:21 and second place was Papasito Team in 1:08:03. Too Hot to Trot was third in 1:11:09 and fourth was Clout Gant in 1:11:53. First place teams won a $50 Rocco’s gift certificate and second place won $25 Rocco’s gift certificates.
Thank you to Oro Valley Photography for the great photos this year both on the field and in the photo booth. We hope you’ve had an opportunity to look at the photos and share them with your friends. We understand there was a software glitch towards the end of the photo booth run but hopefully you were able to take advantage of the great and inventive props to memorialize the day. Visit orovalleyphotography.com to see the photos.
As always, I’d like to give a heartfelt dose of gratitude to all of our sponsors. There is no way that we could keep our costs low while providing a quality event if we didn’t have our very generous sponsors. To my support staff at The Running Shop and Brooks, thank you! To Bashas for their continued support and help in providing so much fruit and pies to the crowd, thank you! Sonic Drive In for their tremendous contributions to awards. More thank yous to Sparkletts water, Bruegger’s Bagels, DJ Rich and Southern Arizona Roadrunners.
This year I also want to give an especially deeply felt thank you to Steve King from Sunset Embroidery and Screen Print and Lucas from The Running Shop. For those who are unaware, I suddenly lost my father in mid-November. Without these two gentlemen stepping up, as well as the rest of the gang at The Running Shop, this event would not have happened. More deeply felt gratitude goes to Martin Pena, my co-race director and all that he does. Another Happy Birthday to you Martin! And a humongous shout out to each and every volunteer! You all truly rock!!!
We are proud to have Toys for Tots and Team Hoyt as our beneficiaries. We are grateful for all of the toys were donated race morning. The new Toys for Tots coordinators were quite pleased with your generosity.
Thank you to Chip Travers, our continually creative artist. We give him an idea and he creates our turkey. And to Greg Wenneborg and Roadrunner Race Timing for speedy results.
If you have not yet received your race award, they are at The Running Shop. We also have a turkey hat that was left behind as well as a key.
Thank you all for a thankful Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays and a Healthy 2018 to you and yours!